A ‘Feel Good’ and Bizarre Tale

by on July 21, 2022 · 16 comments

in Ocean Beach

Kissing Rock in Gold Beach, Oregon

By Judi Curry

Sometimes I find myself in a position of writing a story that I think will find the reader feeling good without any negative vibes. I am hoping that this tale does that for you, because it did for me.

Let me give you a fast background.  I met Mona in 1992 when I was hired to be the Vocational Manager at San Diego Job Corps. Mona was the Academics Manager.  Our offices were on the same floor but at opposite sides of the room, and our interactions took place numerous times during the day.

I found out that Mona lived on Santa Cruz Avenue, just a few blocks from where I lived.  She had dogs; I had dogs.  We developed a very strong friendship that was much more than being working colleagues. In fact, we won the Halloween Contest one year when we both dressed up as Nuns!

Mona left SDJC to work at the Massachusetts Job Corps Center; I left SDJC to work at the Maine JCC, and Mona and I continued to be “east coast buddies.”

Then Mona moved to the Treasure Island Job Corps Center as the Human Resources Director, and, no surprise, I moved to the same Job Corps Center as the Director of Education and Training.  Our friendship blossomed.  I retired from Treasure Island and returned to San Diego.  When Mona retired she moved to Ashland, Oregon, and later bought a summer home in Gold Beach, but our friendship continued.  She has visited me several times in San Diego; I am planning a trip to visit her in Oregon in the near future.

So ….t hat is the background of our relationship.  Now for the Bizarre!

Two days ago I received the following message from  a “Debbie” – someone I do not know.  I have been hacked twice in the past month, and am leery of any message I get from someone I do not know. I was very skeptical of this message:

“Hi Judi, My boyfriend found a purse on the road in Gold Beach, OR. Belonging to someone I think you know.  Mona….is the ID.  Can you please let her know.  My number is—–. My boyfriend wants to make sure she gets it back.”

“What a scam”, I thought.  How could anyone make the connection between  Mona and me, when we were 800 miles apart?  I decided to call Mona and see if she had lost her purse.  Dumb me! When the phone went to voice mail it dawned on me that if she lost her purse her phone was probably in it and she couldn’t answer me.

Mona and Judi as nuns.

So I called Debbie – and she saw my name come up on her phone and answered by saying, “I am so glad you called. I was afraid that you wouldn’t!”  It was legitimate!!!  And to make the story even more bizarre, she was calling from the Los Angeles area!

It seems that her boyfriend – Kurt – has a home in Gold Beach, and he was driving down the highway and saw a purse in the middle of the road.  He stopped and picked it up and the rest you know.  But how did they make the connection between Mona and me?

When Kurt read the information to Debbie, she began trying to find her on Face Book.  And…lo and behold, there was her name.  It did not appear that she had been active for some time, but there was a message from me to her on her page, and Debbie looked me up and made the connection.  And what makes this even more eerie is that the message that she found was the message the hacker was using to get everyone’s information.  Fortunately Mona had not opened the message!

When Debbie told me that Kurt was in Gold Beach I told her Mona and her husband had bought a house in Gold Beach and I just happened to have the address!  It turned out it was only a short distance from Kurt’s to Mona and her significant other, Ted.  So what did Kurt do?  He was on his way to the police station when Debbie called him with the address.

He turned around and took the purse to their house, where Ted was still working on it. Of course Ted had no idea that Mona had lost it – neither did Mona – and he and Kurt talked about finding the purse.  Ted did not make the connection between Debbie and me, and when Ted told Mona that someone had connected with Debbie, Mona said immediately, “I bet it was Judi!”

When I finally spoke to Mona that night it appears that she had left Gold Beach to drive her brother to the airport in Ashland.  She was taking the dogs with her and they began running away as she was loading the car.  Apparently she put her purse on top of the car while she secured the dogs, and then drove away with her purse on top. They guessed she drove about 3-4 miles before it fell off.  It was found right in the center of the road!

I have always heard that there are great people in Oregon.  Can you imagine someone here stopping in the middle of street to retrieve a purse or wallet seen in the road unless they wanted to steal the contents?  Debbie was afraid that things had fallen out when it fell, but from what Mona can figure out from talking to her husband – everything is intact.  Kurt said he saw a piece of paper by the road and forgot to get it; thinking it belonged to Mona but she says she doesn’t think it was hers.

Between Kurt and Debbie a possible tragedy has been averted. It is so comforting to know that there are people like them still in existence in today’s society.  With all the bad news, it is so very refreshing to hear this good news.  Mona can hardly wait to meet the couple when she – and Debbie – return to Gold Beach.  I hope to meet more like them in the future.

And for those of you that keep knocking Face Book – at least one good thing came out of it!


{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

Frank Gormlie July 21, 2022 at 9:58 am

Here’s a funny coincidence: Gold Beach is in Curry County, Oregon.


Geoff Page July 21, 2022 at 11:18 am

It was a nice feel good story, until this sentence.

“Can you imagine someone here stopping in the middle of street to retrieve a purse or wallet seen in the road unless they wanted to steal the contents?”


Chris July 21, 2022 at 5:09 pm

Nothing to do with this article, but now you know my last name and what I look like lol.


judi July 21, 2022 at 12:45 pm

Always have to find something to be negative about, don’t you?


Geoff Page July 21, 2022 at 3:46 pm

Were you referring to yourself? It was a feel good piece until you insulted everyone “here” by saying where you live people have no morality.


Gilbert E Field July 21, 2022 at 12:47 pm

Great story.
I truly believe that we live among many people who would do the same (return the purse and contents).
Always enjoy your posts.


sealintheselkirks July 21, 2022 at 1:49 pm

Returning something that is important to someone and getting that smile that lights a person’s face at that moment is worth so much more than a few measly bucks!

I’ve never found a purse in the street but I did find a wallet in a phone booth once in MB (remember phone booths?). The guy was stoked when I called a number in it because his paycheck was inside. Sure have returned a lot of lost dogs over the years, though, as they seem to find their way onto this property or one of my dogs will bring ‘a friend’ home…

Hit 103’F yesterday at 5:45pm. First fire smoke haze in the air this morning and the first ‘water scooper’ fire bomber went droning overhead heading s/w around 11am. At least it’s still in the mid-50s at night…



Geoff Page July 22, 2022 at 11:54 am

Yea, seal, I think most people have stories of returning things to people “here.” Dogs, wallets, credit cards. Happens all the time. Sometimes you strike out, but the little dog we found that no one claimed has been a great addition to the family.


sealintheselkirks July 22, 2022 at 12:22 pm

Me, too, Geoff! This rural mountain area is a dumping ground for dogs and cats. I’ve only had one dog in my life that wasn’t a throw-away or a rescue/pound dog. That was Kata who was born in the backyard of the Sunset Cliffs ding repair shop in 1982! Of course her mother Mish was a cast-off puppy we raised…

I’ve had up to five dogs here in the last 19 years. Seven doggie graves on this property now. I’ve only got one at the moment, a beautiful 8(ish) yr old Golden Retriever girl that was locked in an outdoor cage alone for the last four years before being brought to me by a friend who was horrified by it. Definitely traumatized of course but the 15 yr old blind adopted Husky lived just long enough to teach her about the property before dying of a heart attack in the NW Heat Dome of last summer. And then a tiny dumped tiger kitty who showed up starving last fall and tottered over to the dog and me sitting on the steps one evening (after the damned sun went down!).

I’m sure there would have been more but last summer the heat just killed any dumped animal quick. It killed off the birds and insects, too.

And yep, I also think most people have good stories to tell about this sort of thing. But we tend to remember the bad stuff more vividly. It’s definitely a psychological quirk of our human minds…



Geoff Page July 22, 2022 at 2:50 pm

You’re a man after my own heart, seal. Hmm, is it still correct to use that old saying? Animal lovers are always good people. I’ve been through nine passings in the past 35 years. And, that is just the dogs, I’d have to think to add up the cats. It’s always great to see people out there, like you, taking care of the ones who need it, usually because of other humans.


sealintheselkirks July 23, 2022 at 8:36 pm

Since we’re old surfer dudes I think we get to use outdated terminology, Geoff. Doesn’t that come with the package?

Worse part is having to end the life of a suffering one. Had to do that a few times for one living with me and others, too. Always a very hard and sad part of the responsibility we take on.

Not all that fond of cats to be honest. They’re okay but dogs will remember to stay off the furniture, won’t claw stuff up, and I just hate having an open toilet on the floor in the house. Pet peeves! This little tigerkitty isn’t allowed inside since she was living on the back of the property around my sew shop building for the last year and I couldn’t get near her (eyes would go feral instantly). Then the Heat Dome cancelled her food and water supply and she must have decided that starving was a worse fate than hanging with a canine and a primate.

Now she follows the dog and I around (we all go for walks in the treeline) and she’ll bug the hell out of Cinners just to do it knowing it bugs her. Pretty funny to see that! She’s also been modeling herself on some dog behavior like asking for belly rubs and rolling in the grass when the dog is doing it. She’s now on her second 12 lb. bag of kitty crunchies since last Fall and she loves sitting in my lap on the front porch digging her claws into me during serious rub fests. Not so feral after all I guess except at night. She’s really skittish in the dark, a completely personality change you might say.

Obviously has been around dogs before, and Cinners really tries to ignore the cat. Except to sniff its butt…

I have a little sign on my porch:

Dogs are better people than most people.

I think that is true!



Geoff Page July 25, 2022 at 11:06 am

I like your sign, seal, I’m in complete agreement.

Your cat experiences match mine as well. We had to put an end to a feral colony that sprung up in our yard. We got everyone “fixed” and gave away as many kittens as we could but we would up with quite a few hangers on. Over the years, the number has whittled down until we have seven. All of them, but one, live outside on the back deck, in the driveway, on the front porch.

One cat, the mother of several of these, was very feral but also very smart. She is now the only cat that lives indoors. She is deaf and when she wants something she lets out the most blood curdling cries. I also hate litter boxes but we have one, just for her.

Cats are amazingly destructive. They blew out my window screens. They tore up my wallpaper in the dining room sharpening their claws. They’ve shredded furniture down to the wooden frames. I could go on and on. I like cats but they really do a lot more damage than my dogs have ever done, at least after puppyhood.

Actually, my dogs helped a bit. They drove several of the cats outside that had been indoors. But they are all afraid of the one that remains. My one dog is about 75 pounds and he’s terrified of her.

But, it sounds like one charmed you…


Jeffeck July 21, 2022 at 7:52 pm

Hey, I was walking my dogs at Dusty Rhodes. My dogs are small so I was just walking past the big dog portion of the park and I saw a cell phone on the ground about to be buried by the dust etc. in there . So I turned around and walked my dogs inside the big dog park and picked up the phone. Fortunately, I could open the directory and looked up the names and lo and behold there was one called “Mom”. I figured if anyone would know who’s phone it was, of course it would be Mom. I called her and she described her son who was still in the dog park unaware he dropped his phone.
Imagine his surprise to find out he not only lost and had now found his phone but Mom was on the line to speak to him.

Hope I didn’t get him too much of a lecture. LOL

Good people are the majority but the bad ones remain in our minds longer.


Frank Gormlie July 22, 2022 at 10:13 am

More San Diego Feel-Good:
The San Diego Rescue Mission received a $1,800 donation from Leo Fink, a 13-year old San Diego resident who recently had his Bar Mitzvah and wants to give his gift money to help his neighbors experiencing homelessness.

Leo is donating $1,800 of his own money to The Mission inspired by the significance that the number 18 has in the Jewish religion, meaning “life.”

Leo volunteered at The San Diego Rescue Mission’s Easter Community Meal this past April where he learned important life lessons about humanity and the importance of treating everyone with kindness and respect. Leo’s family is grateful to The San Diego Rescue Mission for the opportunity to teach Leo from a young age how valuable it is to give back to your community and help those in need.


Duff July 23, 2022 at 4:45 pm

That is such a typical, wonderful Judi/Mona story! You two always found a way to put a smile on everyone’s face! Here you are, a gazillion years later doing it again! (P. S. I still have the nuns holiday card!)


Judi July 24, 2022 at 7:30 am

Another “feel good” aspect of this story. Duff was our librarian at SDJJC-and I have not heard from her since 1999! I hope that sometime in the future Duff, Mona and I can get together!


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